I write about business, how to grow your company. I’ve worked with hundreds of SME’s in South Africa, I’ve consulted to big corporates. I share my experience in articles. And that’s all it is – experience.
Today, I’m writing about a topic that some might find a bit biased. Yes, I’m an accountant by degree and yes, I own an accounting firm. So for an accountant to write about accountants…? The perfect match for a sales pitch! But not this time, again I’ll be sharing my experience I’ve had with businesses in South Africa – it just happens to be close to home.
Accountants are usually the last thing on a new entrepreneur’s list. And rightly so. You need to start your business, find customers, prove your business model. No time to sit with conservative old folks telling you about all the red tape and how difficult running a business is. But then your business grows. Excel no longer works for invoicing. The bank wants to see financials. An accountant is needed.
With lots of excitement you appoint an accountant, you pay their big (and unexpected) bills and you expect a partner that will help you grow your business… What a disappointment… A couple of months later, they’ve added zero value to your business. They keep you compliant with the red tape and deliver a very reactive service.
Hello to the world of old school accountants – which, unfortunately, makes up 99% of the accountants in South Africa. Meaning that if you are an entrepreneur, you are most likely with one of them. Shame, I feel for you! The people you pay to help you grow, are actually hampering your growth. They force you to use old legacy systems, they make you stay with outdated processes.
So what’s the flip side? Accountants that set up a great system for you and work WITH you on this system (in real time). Usually a cloud based application where you can all access the same information from whoever you are. You do the invoicing, they do the bank or whatever arrangement you agree on. The result? You have live information, all the time. You can make business decisions. You can get a list of outstanding customers at the click of a button. You can do cash flow forecasts.
Once this is achieved, the magic happens: all your red tape is automatically taken care of and you can use the technology to grow your business and create an amazing experience for your customers. Like? Like getting your customers to view and pay invoices online. Like getting your employees to apply for leave online. Like sending your customers SMS messages when accounts are overdue. All automated.
How on earth did accountants manage to survive this fast paced business world and how on earth are there still entrepreneurs tolerating this?! Gone are the days when accountants give you a reactive service, where they tell you what happened in your business 8 months after it happened. The move is happening to a proactive service and thousands of SME’s have already made the move to someone who understands this world.
Can you tell me right now who owes you what and what you made last month? Shame, you are still with one of those…
Or what’s your experience?